I believe my interest in D&D led to to interesting choices in real life companion animals and actual places I always thought to be as about as magical as they get (here on Earth(from an imagination somewhat enhanced by D&D)).
I tended to like the unusual and some of that stems I think from an early intro to D&D and fantasy literature
Tarantulas, several of those.
Emperor scorpians (from the old Clash of the Titans movie)
Rats(much less bitey than gerbils and hamsters)
Percheron horses (I wanted a BIG draft horse to ride) He liked his chewing tobacco of all things and sounded like thunder running up to me.
Never got my big Mastiff yet.
Would like to have a banana slug from the west coast but something about exports state to state I think.
Grew molds to see how big they could get( D&D playing in the basement tended to have a bulid up of glassware, hehheh.
I find though that over the years it gets hard to see creatures pass away and sometimes makes it hard to try again(but do usually)
For places it has always been waterfalls, old growth forests, lakes with small islands in them, caves, big moss covered areas and mushroom fairy rings that pop up around where trees were, in a circle.